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CHECHEN PROTESTS AND FIGHTING CONTINUE

More than 2,000 people gathered in Moscow yesterday for a protest demonstration and a memorial service for victims of the Chechen war. The protesters included mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in the war, as well as Chechens with relatives living in the region. Meanwhile, Russian artillery resumed shelling of the Chechen capital of Grozny and nearby villages, with neither Chechens nor Russians controlling the capital's center. Guerrilla attacks by the Chechens are expected to intensify with the rebel s' position weakening in the capital.

Alien crackdown planned

The Clinton White House will propose an increase in the 1996 budget to strengthen enforcement against illegal immigrants, according to news reports. The draft budget for the Immigration and Naturalization Service reportedly calls for 650 new investigators -- an increase of 41 percent. The Border Patrol would get 500 new agents. President Clinton also would add $131 million to double the government's capacity to deport criminal aliens. Investigators from the Labor Department would also be pressed into s ervice to ferret out aliens who are working in the United States illegally.

Quayle set for '96 run

Former Vice President Dan Quayle will file presidential candidacy papers by Feb. 21 and make a public announcement of his candidacy by mid-April, his office said in Indianapolis Saturday.

GM strike ends

General Motors managers scrambled Saturday to resume production at plants in the US and Canada shut down by parts shortages caused by a just-settled three-day strike at a Flint, Mich., factory.

Quakes jolt Colombia

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 rocked a large part of Colombia on yesterday. No injuries or damage were immediately reported. A magnitude-6.5 quake struck the area on Thursday and was followed by aftershocks measuring 5.2 and 5.4 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. As of Saturday, the series of quakes had killed eight people, injured more than 50, and left more than 2,000 people homeless.

Kashmir avalanche probe

India's northern-most state has ordered a probe into circumstances that led to the death of 125 people and forced hundreds of others to spend days inside a tunnel after an avalanche, officials said yesterday. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Ashok Kumar also said that the inquiry team will try to find out if there was negligence on the part of official agencies that manage traffic on the narrow mountain road where the avalanche occurred.

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